Allocation increased in agriculture, no good news for farmers


In the proposed budget for the financial year 2024-25, the allocation for the agriculture sector has increased. But there is no good news for the artisanal farmer in the agricultural sector. Subsidy has been reduced. There is no initiative to reduce the rising prices of fertilisers, irrigation and agricultural inputs. There is no provision to deal with the impact of climate change on agriculture. No facility has been kept for agricultural export and processing sector.

Agriculture experts say, this year too the budget of agriculture sector is traditional. There is nothing new in protecting the interests of farmers and agriculture sector.

In the proposed budget, an allocation of Tk 38,259 crore has been proposed for the agriculture, fisheries and livestock and food security sectors in the financial year 2024-25. The allocation for the outgoing financial year (2023-24) was 35 thousand 880 crores.

In the proposed budget of the next financial year, subsidies and incentives of Tk 17,261 crore have been proposed in the agricultural sector, which is 7.7 percent of the total subsidies and incentives. Which is much less than the subsidy in the revised budget of the current financial year. 17 thousand 533 crore was proposed in the current financial year, which was later increased to 25 thousand 644 crore by the government.

Although the allocation in the budget has increased, it is very insufficient. Again the subsidy of the grain sector has been reduced. This is undesirable. It will increase the cost of production. Food security will be disrupted. Reducing agricultural subsidies is a major obstacle. – Dr. Agricultural Economist. Jahangir Alam

Agricultural economist and former vice-chancellor of the University of Global Village. Jahangir Alam told Jago News, ‘Despite the increased allocation in the budget, it is very insufficient. Again the subsidy of the grain sector has been reduced. This is undesirable. It will increase the cost of production. Agricultural production will be disrupted. Food security will be disrupted. Reducing agricultural subsidies is a major obstacle.’

Read more

  • Opportunity to launder black money ‘conflicts’ with anti-corruption policy
  • Not satisfied with the proposed budget 14 parties!
  • A commitment to build a happy-prosperous-smart Bangladesh by blocking Karjal

He said, ‘The budget is very traditional. There is no reflection on increasing exports and processed agricultural products. There was a need to know how we should proceed, especially in terms of exports. How processed products will be further diversified, how these simplifications will take place – no guidance. Agriculture has many problems with climate. He also has no news. Zero decimal 4 percent is allocated to agricultural research. It should be a minimum of one per cent.’

Former Research Director of Agricultural Economist Bangladesh Institute of Development Research (BIDS). M Asaduzzaman told Jago News, ‘Subsidy in agriculture has reduced. Now in which sector will this allocation be made? The cost of fertilizers and irrigation has increased. With which the farmers are struggling. Will they benefit?’

“There was also a need for large allocations for food security. As subsidies are reduced there will be negative effects everywhere. It is a big challenge to coordinate.’

M. Asaduzzaman also said, ‘crowds of people are now rushing to buy various agricultural products including onion and garlic. What will happen to them? How to benefit the agricultural products that are being imported? How will people get the price reduction, or should the current price be kept stable – everything is unclear.’

Subsidies to agriculture reduced. Now in which sector will this allocation be made? The cost of fertilizers and irrigation has increased. With which the farmers are struggling. Will they benefit? – BIDS former research director Dr. M Asaduzzaman

Farida Akhtar, Executive Director of Non-Governmental Policy Research on Development Options (UBINIG), said, ‘Farmers’ production and sale of crops is a problem. They don’t get fair value. Can’t even save crops due to lack of money. Common people are buying those agricultural products at exorbitant prices. There is no initiative to prevent these in the budget.

Former Agriculture Secretary Anwar Farooq told Jago News, “Now private companies are taking the agricultural sector forward. However, there is no guidance regarding this sector. The matter of agro processing sometimes goes to the Ministry of Industries, sometimes to the Ministry of Commerce. No budget comes in agriculture. Allocation to the value chain needs to be increased to reduce the country’s post-harvest management losses. There are no measures to encourage private sector investment in that area. They needed to have a pledge of support through credit support, cash support or incentives.’

He said, ‘Now we need to be careful in the production as well as the processing of agricultural products. Because it is essential to get producer prices. Production will increase if the price is met. Besides, the exporters should be given benefits.

The economy of the country is in the expansion phase mainly due to the development of two indicators. One is agriculture and the other is manufacturing. This is what the latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data says. However, the share of the budget in that agricultural sector is gradually decreasing.

In the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, the allocation for the agriculture sector is 5.9 percent, which is less than half of the direct contribution of this sector to the country’s economy. In the past one century, the allocation in the budget for the agricultural sector has fallen by half. The share of agriculture sector in the budget of 2013-14 was 11 percent.

NH/ASA/MS